|NFL Power Rankings|
Cincinnati Bengals (8-7)If I would have been running their offense against Denver I would have stayed with more run and less Palmer. He doesn't look reliable, and neither does his catch-one, drop-one receiver, Chad Johnson.
Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7)I'm trying to work my way through my 1-4 weekend. I figured the Jags were more desperate, fighting for a playoff spot, than were the Patriots, coasting to a division title. That was mistake No. 1. The Jags' defense, after holding Tennessee to 98 yards and losing, would be furious and would do a number on Tom Brady and his posse of receivers you've never heard of. Mistake No. 2. The Jags gave up the most yards they've allowed at home this year. I've got about six more, but I'm saving them for the other games that did me in.
Tennessee Titans (8-7)The NFL's hottest team with six straight wins, and it would be seven straight if they hadn't blown a 26-7 lead over the Ravens, which probably will keep them out of the playoffs. Four of those six came over teams with winning records when the Titans played them. Watch this team next year. If not next year, then the year after, but I probably won't be watching them with you. Most likely I'll be in a retirement community in Coral Garbles.
Seattle Seahawks (8-7)So if Red Auerbach were coaching the 'Hawks, would he have lit his victory cigar when the 49ers lost, thus guaranteeing him the division title, even though his own team lost to the Chargers? This is formula football, NFL style, and I don't think Red would have been ready for it.
Buffalo Bills (7-8)I like the Bills and I root for them, but I must admit that I was happy to see Tennessee's Travis Henry hit them for 135 yards, after the royal screwing Buffalo had given him.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8)That's twice the Ravens have done it to them. In November they were on the way back. Two wins in a row, then squash, they ran into Baltimore. Back they came in December. Three straight this time, each by a lopsided score. Look out world, the men of steel are back. Sploosh! They ran into the Ravens. Maybe Dan Rooney could get them into another division.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-7)I didn't like much of what I saw against Oakland. Trent Green looked old and tired. Larry Johnson seemed to be on cruise control until the late going. The O-line looked sluggish and got whipped, coming off the ball. Jason Dunn, once the toughest blocking tight end, is just a holder now. Is this team really a playoff contender? But you could ask that about a million others.
Atlanta Falcons (7-8)After an afternoon in which they amassed 177 yards and three points against the Panthers, Michael Vick was quoted as saying that they ought to either run or pass, pick one, and stick with it. Hmm, makes sense. Personally I'd concentrate on special teams. Men, this is the week I want to establish our punting game.
St. Louis Rams (7-8)Yeah, they're one of the five strange suitors at 7-8. Kind of reminds me of the group that gathers round every time I do one of those "She Said, Z Said" tapings with swimmingsuit modeler B. Decker.
Miami Dolphins (6-9)Granted, I have raised them above their station, representative of their record, but there's something spirited about this team, especially what it showed against the Jets. And am I giving too much away when I report that right now, Zach Thomas is running ahead of all-world Brian Urlacher as my all-pro middle linebacker?